ENTERTAINMENT
17/12/2019 3:34 PM AEDT

Sarah Ferguson On Prince Andrew's Jeffrey Epstein Troubles: 'It's All Nonsense'

The Duchess of York has defended her ex-husband amid the allegations of rape before.

Sarah Ferguson said the recent controversy around Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been “incredibly difficult” for the family. 

The Duchess of York, who shares daughters Eugenie and Beatrice with her former husband, opened up about his disgrace in a revealing interview with Vogue Arabia, published last week. 

“When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me,” she said. “To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain.”

She added, “He is the best man I know. It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain, and it’s all nonsense [Vogue noted that her voice rose as she alluded to the Epstein scandal], so I talk about familyhood, and I’m very strong about it. The mental health of men is important and I think it is vital to articulate that more.” 

The woman known affectionately as Fergie had previously defended Andrew after his disastrous BBC “Newsnight” interview in November. The prince has been accused of raping a minor who was allegedly trafficked by Epstein, though Andrew has repeatedly denied all allegations. 

Reuters Staff / Reuters
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend the races at England's Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2015.

During the BBC segment, the Duke of York failed to strongly condemn Epstein, calling his behavior merely “unbecoming,” and didn’t express sympathy for the late financier’s victims. 

“It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs,” the Duchess of York posted on Instagram in November. “Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of always seeing the best in people.”

“I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth,” she wrote, adding that “it is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour.” 

Following the backlash from his BBC interview, Andrew said in a statement last month that he was stepping away from royal duties for the foreseeable future.

He added that he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.” 

Despite his retreat from public life, the public will still likely see Andrew on the royal family’s walk to church on Christmas Day from Sandringham House to St. Mary Magdalene Church. He is also expected to attend Princess Beatrice’s wedding in the spring.

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